We’ll Miss You!
- By Dennis Petrone
- Photo Courtesy of AMC
Series finales in recent years have become controversial. With the advent of great cinematic-like television series on cable and online, fans have become super fans. And they are engaged to the level of becoming enraged if their beloved characters and shows don’t resolve well.
For executive producer Matthew Weiner, the pressure to deliver a satisfying ending for Mad Men must be heightened – not only because Mad Men fans are so devoted, but also because of the contentious ending of another series favorite he produced, The Sopranos. After six seasons, that series ended with Tony, Carmela and their son Anthony casually eating at a diner. Tony looks up as someone walks through the front door. But before we can see who it is, the screen cuts to black. It’s easy to understand why fans might find this mysterious ending unsettling, and unresolved.
If The Sopranos taught Matthew Weiner anything, it’s perhaps the importance of a great series ending. And come April 5, after seven seasons, Mad Men will begin its final decent to the shows ultimate conclusion. But when it comes to storytelling, Weiner has always had a few tricks up his sleeve.
For starters, the entire Mad Men series was mapped out from the beginning. Weiner always maintained that the show had a narrative and arc that took exactly seven seasons to tell. At a press tour earlier this year, Hamm said, “There’s no version of this ending that is not super painful for me.”
Other prominent actors from the show have remarked on how the series will end as well. January Jones who plays Don’s ex-wife Betty said of reading the final script, “It’s a beautiful story,” and, “I was pleasantly surprised.” Elizabeth Moss who plays Peggy Olson said, “I was surprised in the best way.” And Christina Hendricks who plays Joan Holloway said, “I was pleased. I thought, you know, that makes sense.”
Looking for some more concrete predictions from this super fan?
The characters of Mad Men have always taken center stage with the history of the period establishing a backdrop. The show left off this past fall with the first manned moon landing. Within weeks of that Woodstock happened. The final seven episodes beginning on April 5 will likely start there at Woodstock in Upstate New York with Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) and Glen Bishop (Marten Weiner). Only this time, when Sally gets in trouble, her parents won’t be there to bail her out.
A second prediction is that the show will return to the storylines of its core six characters who were there from the very beginning. In order of importance, those are: Don Draper (Jon Hamm), Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), Roger Sterling (John Slattery), Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks), Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) and Betty Francis Draper (January Jones). Other supporting characters may pare away. Sorry Megan Draper (Jessica Paré), Ted Chaough (Kevin Rahm), Jim Cutler (Harry Hamlin) and Harry Crane (Rich Sommer).
The last prediction is that (drumroll please) the series finale of Mad Men – the episode to end it all – will jump ahead a bunch of years. This guess stems from the latest promo. While the show picks up in 1969, the promo seems set well into the 1970s. Diana Ross’s “Love Hangover” plays in the background, which wasn’t recorded until the mid-1970s. Megan Draper wears a belly chain, which many say, wasn’t trending until the early-1970s. And there’s a car featured that may or may not be a 1972 Pontiac Lemans.
Mad Men has won many awards over the years totaling in the hundreds. Most notably it earned 15 Emmys (there may be more this September), including four for Outstanding Drama Series – a first for a cable television drama. Super fans (especially this one) are sad for Mad Men to end.
The final episodes of AMC’s Mad Men begin on Sunday, April 5.